Skip to main content
Normal View

Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 7 May 1941

Vol. 83 No. 1

Financial Resolutions. - Removal of Judge from Office—Motion.

The following motion was on the Order Paper:—
That Dáil Eireann hereby calls for the removal from office of Edward J. McElligott, a Judge of the Circuit Court, on the ground that he is unable owing to physical incapacity to perform the functions of his said office.—Minister for Justice.

Since this motion was put down, I have received an assurance that Judge McElligott will retire at an early date. Therefore, it is not necessary to proceed with the resolution and I ask leave to withdraw it.

On the motion to withdraw, I regret very much that this motion should have been put down for the consideration of the House. While we, on this side of the House, cannot but be glad that the motion is not being proceeded with, we feel that it would not be proper to allow the motion to be withdrawn without comment. The principle of the independence of the judiciary is not one that should be interfered with or jeopardised. We view this motion with grave concern as one tending, in the circumstances, to create an evil precedent. Suggestions seem to have gained currency outside that we were consenting parties to this action. Nothing could be further from the truth. We deprecate the methods employed and we wish to put on record our opinion that this action should never have been taken.

Mr. Boland

In view of the attitude of the Leader of the Opposition, I am very sorry I am withdrawing the motion. I should like to have a full debate. If we do not get permission to withdraw the motion, we shall go ahead with it.

This motion causes me grave concern——

Is the motion being moved?

Mr. Boland

I am asking permission to withdraw it.

Have we not permission to comment on the Minister's desire to withdraw the motion? I want to comment on it.

If the motion has not been moved, it is not open for discussion.

I do not know what the procedure is. Can there not be a discussion on the question as to whether or not the House should give the Minister leave to withdraw the motion?

Unless a motion has been moved, it is not before the House. The Minister was not obliged to move the motion. The Chair wanted to ascertain whether or not the Minister had, technically, moved in the matter.

When a motion of this character appears on the Paper, a situation at once arises upon which it appears comment may properly be made.

Not until the motion has been moved.

But comment has already been made on it.

By the Minister and by the Leader of the Opposition. There must have been some precedent for that.

The Minister simply said that he desired to withdraw the motion, the word "withdraw" being misleading.

Can we discuss the question whether or not we should give the Minister leave to withdraw the motion?

A motion not moved cannot be withdrawn. Is the Minister moving it? If not, it is not before the House. To state that he was not moving would have been technically more correct; it would have been a happier word than "withdraw".

Mr. Boland

I am not moving the motion. Technically, I believe I should have said that I did not propose to move the motion. Having put it on the Order Paper, I thought I should have asked permission to withdraw it. What I really should have said is, that I did not propose to move the motion for the reasons stated.

I think it would have been better if the Minister did move the motion.

The Minister has not introduced the motion.

He has in fact. If the Minister wishes to mend his hand, and you, Sir, give him leave to do so, I will say what I have to say on the Fifth Stage of the Constitution Bill, so that it does not make very much difference.

Personally, I feel that the Minister should move the motion. I think the less interference there is, when the Minister is doing what he considers his duty, the better.

The Minister does not intend to move. The motion will disappear from the Order Paper.